The Night Malcolm X spoke at the Oxford Union, England: Race Protest in the Subversive Special Relationship
Jun 09, 2011
Lecture at the GHI | Speaker: Stephen Tuck (University of Oxford) | Lecture Series: Crossing the Color Line: A Global History of the African American Freedom Struggle
Late in 1964, Malcolm X spoke at one of the most conservative of British institutions - the Oxford University debating union. Carried live on the BBC, and publicized around the world, some rated it as Malcolm X's greatest speech.
But why Malcolm X came to Oxford has remained something of a mystery. On the face of it, the dusty old university town might seem a rather strange destination for an international renowned radical, following his lengthy, and well-known, trips to Africa and the Middle East.
Yet Malcolm X's choice of Oxford was savvy. The university was in the midst of its own racial turmoil in 1964. More generally, African Americans and newly immigrated black Britons forged connections, which shaped the course and outcome of the struggles for racial justice in both countries - in powerful, and often unexpected ways.
Stephen Tuck is a lecturer in American history at the University of Oxford. In 2011-12, he will also be a fellow of the Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He has written two prize-winning books, most recently a popular history of the long civil rights movement, entitled, We Ain't What We Ought to Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama (Belknap Press, 2011). He is currently writing "The Lynching of Kelso Cochrane: A Story of Riots, Race and Immigration in Modern Britain."
Spring Lecture Series 2011
Crossing the Color Line: A Global History of the African American Freedom Struggle
Organized by Martin Klimke (GHI)
African American civil rights activists early on conceived of their struggle for racial equality as part of a larger struggle against colonialism in Africa, Asia, and South America. This lecture series brings together scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to reflect on this booming field of African America history and to shed light on how both African Americans' quest for equality and the responses to it transcended the borders of the United States. Focusing on new actors and geographic regions, the series will offer a more comprehensive perspective on the civil rights movement.
- Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960
March 24, 2011
Speaker: Carol Anderson (Emory University)
- Global Perspectives on the Black Freedom Struggle
April 21, 2011
Speaker: Manfred Berg (University of Heidelberg)
- Black Expatriates and Civil Rights Activism in 1950/60s Ghana
May 26, 2011
Speaker: Kevin Gaines (University of Michigan)
- The Night Malcolm X spoke at the Oxford Union, England: Race Protest in the Subversive Special Relationship
June 9, 2011
Speaker: Stephen Tuck (University of Oxford)